UPDATE 2007-10-04: The trip is on hold. While writing this post I started to look at just how long a trip this is. And frankly, 1000 miles (roundtrip) is too far for one four hour hike. Gas alone is going to cost almost $150. So, for now we’ll probably just go hiking around Barton Creek or Bull Creek. You’ll still get pictures, they’ll just be cuter and filled with Jillian and Wesley. Plus, I’ve read that November is really the time to go see this area as the trees change color. Maybe I’ll make a weekend of it and hike Hunter Peak as well.
This Friday I plan to scale the highest point in Texas. Don’t laugh. I know what you are thinking…Texas, high point? What is it a one redneck standing on another rednecks shoulders? Actually, Guadalupe Peak is a respectable 8,749ft making it the 14th highest in a list of high points for each state. Unfortunately for me, the peak is in the far west corner of Texas just along the border with New Mexico. The mountain and surrounding area are part of Guadalupe Mountain National Park. It is one of only 4 state high points to be part of a national park. The others being Denali in Alaska, Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee and Rainier in Washington. So hopefully that means it will be nice hike.
I’ll leave Thursday evening, after the kids are asleep, and drive the 8-9 hours West to get to the park. I’ve loaded up my mp3 player with a few books on tape, plus some music. From experience I can tell you that there are parts of that area of the state that don’t have any radio stations at all. When you do get radio they are usually in Spanish or Praise Jesus. I’ll get there around midnight or so just an hour or so from New Mexico. I’ll sleep in the car with the seats down and my camping pads doubled up. It should be comfy enough and with lows in the 70s I should be plenty warm. In the morning I’ll start the hike.
The hike itself starts at the Pine Springs campground at 5,822ft. 8749-5822=2927 feet of elevation gain! The trail is about 4.25 miles each way. At less than 700ft per mile it should make a fairly easy hike. I’m expecting just a couple hours in and a couple hours out. I’m bringing the camera and should have lots of pictures to show for it.
I’ll write more and post all those pictures when I get back. That should be sometime on Friday evening or afternoon. Depending on when I get up I plan to head straight back home after the hike. I can’t wait…
A Few Links: